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No person is got at here

In teaching The Questions of King Milinda, as is the case for many other influential and popular texts in Indian philosophy (e.g. the Bhagavad Gītā), there is a wide range of translations to choose from, each with costs and benefits. We want students to appreciate the work's own voice, and also understand its arguments. For instance, one of the important claims for students to understand in reading the famous chariot analogy is when Nāgasena, being asked his name, after saying people call him "Nāgasena," says to Milinda, na...puggalo upalabhati.

The claim is a reason for his saying that "Nāgasena" is nāmamattam, or merely a name. Students have a difficult time with Buddhist denial of the self, since the term "self" is so slippery in common language, whereas what the Buddhists are denying is something specific. They are not nihilists, arguing that Nāgasena doesn't exist, full stop (he isn't an apparition, but he is talking to the king), but th…

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